I wasn’t really meaning to do another abstract ‘plane‘ ambience so soon after Ethereal Plane but that’s exactly what happened.
One of the nice things about abstract sounds, as you all keep reminding me, is that they can really be used for anything. Since they’re not constrained by ‘known’ noises, like footsteps, or doors slamming, you don’t have to worry about breaking the mood with a sound that’s way out of place.
Astral Plane will be right at home in scifi stories, horror stories or any weird fiction really.
I have to be honest, none of my D&D games ever really ventured to the various planes. We were always pretty terrestrially bound. Taverns, dungeons, towns, forests. These were our stomping grounds and stomp we did! But there was always those few pages in the Dungeon Master’s guide that I skipped over and that nagged me. What were these planes things and what did one do there?
And what did they sound like?
So, as frequently happens, I got a really clear vision in my head, sat down to work, and 5 hours later realized I had …read more
As a species, we have always loved tales of adventure. Brave heroes venturing into uncharted and dangerous lands is a cornerstone of our collected stories. The Greeks brought us to the Underworld and to the top of Mount Olympus. Homer took us into battle and on long voyages across the sea. Science fiction writers gave us to distant worlds and played with time. There is something innately human about the need to push forward into the unknown. To overcome adversity. To conquer not only the environment, but in doing so, one’s self.
The American west, the era of Manifest Destiny, the …read more
This one started out from a field recording I did at Grand Central Terminal in NYC while waiting for a train. As I was standing in the main hallway (I was the tall guy with headphones, holding a field recorder and trying not to look suspicious to all the armed soldiers) I kept thinking about how I would use the sound of this huge, bustling reverberant space on Tabletop Audio.
I started thinking about scifi sounds, because, well – scifi. But really because so much of scifi audio tends to be empty and devoid of people. Which …read more
Well, for those of you who have told me I can never make enough taverns, here’s a somewhat different take. Much like the venerable fantasy tavern, the saloon was the social and business hub of any frontier town. It was always the first place you stopped to see what was what.
Whiskey, women, work, word from back east – the saloon had it all. It even had that guy in the corner banging out tunes on a ‘rickety ol’ pianer’.
This here saloon’s on the friendly side of don’t-mess-with-me. And by that I mean, the whiskey ain’t got much water …read more
This would definitely classify as a utility ambience in that it doesn’t evoke the same movie for the mind quality that some sounds do. However, it is still quite useful, especially if your story unfolds at 30,000 feet.
With these types of sounds I tend to fight against myself a lot. I always start off adding way too much, and then gradually pairing it down. In an early version I had a stewardess thanking everyone for flying “Tabletop Airways”! Can you imagine hearing that every 10 minutes? Yeah. No.
This track will work equally well in retro and modern …read more
We just got hammered with a nasty March blizzard here in NYC and this time of year that always stings. So, to fight the protracted winter blues I decided to work on something that evoked warm weather.
The travelling Carnival is a classic theme. Some call it a fair, or an amusement park, but I always thought that the term carnival implied transience – here today, gone tomorrow. Rides, cotton candy, food on sticks. It brings back such vivid memories of childhood.
I wanted to place this carnival any time in the last 100 years, so the music …read more
The Western, as a genre is an integral part of America’s cultural DNA. Images of wide open spaces, endless skies, lawless towns and frontier justice invoke the same sense of mystery and adventure that sailing adventures did a century before. We’re so enamored with these themes that we’ve combined them with every other genre and created an endless number of sub-genres. Western horror, Western comedy, sci-fi Westerns, cyberpunk Westerns. The list is endless.
Because of this there is nothing that we can’t ‘make Western’ by the addition of a few well placed touchstones. Space exploration is ‘Western’ in that it’s …read more
I finally read Joe Haldeman’s excellent Forever War last week. Plus, I’ve been watching the new season of The Expanse, so naturally it was time for a sci-fi ambience.
I took my cue from the classic – “we’ve lost contact with the outpost! ” trope and went from there. Lunar Outpost is a suspenseful , damaged wreck of an installation. Wires hanging from the ceiling, intermittent power and all manner of things fritzing out.
Although I think the overall vibe of this one is suspenseful, I think it would work well for horror games as well. As always, …read more
The new musical track Weirder Things is either a shameless rip-off, or a sincere homage, you’ll have to decide for yourselves. But know this! I grew up in the 80s. I went to middle school and high school in the 80s and I played D&D in the 80s, so I’m voting for homage!
Like many of you, the brilliant Netflix show, Stranger Things captivated me and brought me back to that decade in the best way. I wanted to write a 10 minute track that took the simple synth arpeggio that defines the original and just riff …read more